What It's Like Living With Both Depression And Anxiety
Start writing a post
Mental Health

Having Depression And Anxiety Means Having A Brain Constantly At War With Itself

I'm torn between caring too much and not caring at all.

5075
Having Depression And Anxiety Means Having A Brain Constantly At War With Itself

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2016, the two "common colds" of mental illness. Don't let that nickname fool you, though, because there is nothing common about the way these two work together to completely disrupt how my brain functions.

Sometimes, my brain seems to alternate between depressive and anxious episodes. I feel like I'm always trading off one for the other, rarely experiencing a "good" day where both remain relatively quiet. If my anxiety isn't kicking into high-gear, my depression is, and vice versa.

But oftentimes, these two demons will sync up together, both awakening from their slumbers, simultaneously to go to war with each other with the intention of making my life a personal living hell.

Anxiety and depression essentially function as opposites to each other.

This is a bit of an oversimplification, but generally, anxiety can be understood as an overactive mind and depression as an under-active mind. I have mostly learned how to cope when one or the other takes over, but what continues to challenge me is when the two strike at the same time.

Anxiety wants me to get up. If I don't get up, someone will be disappointed, or I'll miss a deadline, or everyone will think I'm lazy, or I'll just keep spiraling and spiraling and spiraling.

Depression doesn't let me get up. If I get up, I'll have to fake a smile at everyone, or I'll just hurt more people, or I won't be able to focus because who can focus on anything when everything you do feels utterly meaningless?

When both flare up at the same time, I'm rendered totally and completely useless. Although my mind may be going a million miles a minute and I want nothing more than to be productive so I can ease some of the tension of worrying over my responsibilities, I physically can't bring myself to get up. I can't move forward because for every racing thought, there is a rope holding it back.

It hurts my head — it feels like my brain is literally pushing against my skull with nowhere to go. It's dizzying and disorienting; and most of all, it is endlessly frustrating. It makes the simplest tasks impossible and I just want to scream at myself "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST DO THE THING?"

Dealing with the guilt is the hardest part because there's nothing I can do but feel every painful sting of it. I WANT to be able to just function properly, but I can't, and it makes me feel like the world's biggest failure of a person.

Objectively, I know my brain is sick and that makes doing some things more difficult for me. But even so, I cannot escape the crushing weight of guilt for not being able to act like a "normal" person who can just DO "normal" things. There's a siren going off telling me to get my responsibilities done, but there's also a voice shouting that nothing I do matters so just roll over and die already, and the noise inside my brain leaves me completely paralyzed.

I'm still learning how to cope with when these two opposing forces in my head go up against each other. All I've really learned is that there's nothing to do but go through it. I try to be gentle with myself, remembering that there are chemicals out of place in my brain and I am not a bad person for that. Speaking kindly to yourself when you're fighting mental illness is a lot easier said than done, but I'm trying.

From Your Site Articles
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Olivia White

"The American flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies from the last breath of each solider who died protecting it."

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Separation Anxiety in Pets

Separation anxiety in pets is a real thing and recognizing the warning signs is important.

229334

Since March, Covid-19 required most of the world to quarantine in their homes. Majority of people ended up working from home for nearly five months. This meant pet owners were constantly with their pets giving them attention, playing with them, letting them out etc. Therefore, when the world slowly started to open up again and pet owners began returning to normal life work schedules away from the home, pet owners noticed a difference in the way their pet acted. Many pets develop separation anxiety especially during this crazy time when majority people were stuck inside barely leaving the house.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

372412

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1768225

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments